PO Box 6396
Olympia, WA 98507
website ~ http://www.fuah.org
Letter regarding the
shooting death of Lawrence King in Oxnard CA from Steve Schalchlin
February 14, 2008
To the students, faculty, staff and families of E.O. Green Junior High School;
the community of Oxnard, California:
Families United Against Hate has read, with great sadness, the story of the
shooting death of 15 year old Lawrence King, killed by a bullet to the head by
fellow classmate aged 14. The police have asked the press to respect the privacy
of the families involved. Lawrence was reported to be a flamboyant young man who
was perceived to be gay, and his shooter was reported to be greatly disturbed by
Mr. King's gender bending dress and behavior. (At this time, the police are
still investigating the situation, so all of this is speculation at this point.)
Since our mission is to provide support to families involved in hate crimes, our
natural instinct was to stand by the King family at this time, and to help them
sort through the tragic aftermath. But we also feel strongly that the shooter's
family is in need of compassion and support.
We don't know the families involved, but we do know that this kind of violence,
both emotional and physical, is frequently visited upon students perceived to be
gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, and we fully support programs that help
overcome the prejudices that lead to this kind of discrimination and hate.
Again, there is much to learn about this situation. But as family advocates,
what we do know is that there are at least two families now involved, and two
young lives are now forever destroyed.
We understand that this has not yet been found to be a hate based incident, but
the possibility that it may have been is enough to traumatize and raise fears
that will affect a much larger community.
We urge schools to incorporate educational programs which will help alleviate
hate. Time and again, these programs have been shown to be highly effective.
Our prayers and thoughts go out to these families and to the young man who is
now being held on suspicion of murder. These kinds of incidents can be avoided
with careful, compassionate education.
Please let us know if we can help in any way.
For the Board of Families United
FAMILIES UNITED AGAINST HATE (FUAH)
is a nonprofit
grassroots organization created by and for families and
survivors of hate motivated violence, in collaboration with other
individuals and organizations. We offer support, guidance and
assistance to families* and individuals dealing with incidents based
on bias; and to the people, organizations and agencies who serve and
define family broadly to include biological, extended and chosen
This letter on FUAH letterhead in PDF
Safe Schools Coalition's
letter regarding the article in Advocate magazine about Lawrence
by Beth Reis, Co-Chair of
Safe Schools Coalition
Information On Two Memorial Funds for
Lawrence King and Other Responses to the Killing of Lawrence